Associate Professor Sama Low-Choy
This session is part of a 6-part series on Foundations of Mixed Methods (FMM). The basics are covered in Introducing MM (Part 1), focusing on context, approach. research questions and theoretical context. We explore easy, visual ways for communicating MM strategies (Part 2), including a conceptual framework for quant/qual empirical research. We demonstrate the variety of strategies for assembling MM studies, when studies use both survey and interview data (Part 3). The conceptual framework underlying MM is discussed in greater detail (Part 4), as a basis for designing the MM and critical reading and writing about MM strategies (Part 5). We provide an example of integrative MM, illustrated for analyzing interview transcripts via thematic/clustering analysis (Part 6).
This session addresses the challenges of integrating mixed methods. As noted by Maxwell et al (2015:223): "The type of design, and the paradigm views of the researchers, are less important for integration than the ability to view the results using different mental models or "lenses." Direct engagement of the researcher(s) with both types of data, and ongoing interaction between quantitative and qualitative researchers, facilitates integration, as does systematically developing and testing conclusions using both types of data."
To demonstrate integration of MM, we consider a recent project where high-level experts were interviewed about the risks of data linkage, involving social science data sourced from government. The methodology integrated thematic analysis, identifying themes in the transcripts from interviews, with a cluster analysis describing how themes arise together. The workshop highlights particular challenges, either for those new to quant (here clustering), or new to qual (here thematic analysis).
Format: online, with some learner-led aspects. An online forum opened a week before can be used to share comments on preparatory reading or highlight questions for the presenter. During the workshop, small group exercises will help you work through ideas.
Who may attend? Advanced beginners. You will find it easier to follow if (a) you have clarified your research question; (b) you have attended any of the 5 workshops in the Foundations of Mixed Methods (MM) theme.
Reading: Maxwell J, Chmiel M, Rogers SE (2015) Designing Integration in Multimethod and Mixed Methods Research, Chapter 12 in Hesse-Biber S & Johnson N (Eds), The Oxford handbook of multimethod and mixed methods research inquiry, Oxford University Press, pp223-239.
Low-Choy et al (2021) and Rose et al (2021) in Chan J & Saunders P (Eds), Big data for Australian social policy: Developments, benefits and risks, Australian Social Science Academy, available from: https://socialsciences.org.au/publications/big-data-for-australian-social-policy/